Agencies unveil app to protect workers from sunlight


In line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal aimed at ensuring healthy lives and wellbeing by 2030 globally, the World Health Organisation; the World Meteorological Organisation; the United Nations Environment Programme, and the International Labour Organisation have launched a new app for mobile phones that provides localised information on ultraviolet radiation levels and helps protect outdoor workers from eye damage and skin cancer.

In a release by the WHO and the ILO on Tuesday, the agencies unveiled the SunSmart Global UV app which provides a five-day UV and weather forecasts at searchable locations and helps people around the world know when to use sun protection, in the bid to douse the global menace of skin cancer and UV-related eye damage.

According to the WHO, it is estimated that over 1.5 million cases of skin cancer were diagnosed globally in 2020 when more than 120,000 persons across the world had lost their lives due to the preventable disease.

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The agencies noted that although everyone needs some sun, which is rich in vitamin D and helps to prevent the development of bone diseases such as rickets, osteomalacia, and osteoporosis, too much of it, however, could be lethal.

In her remark, the WHO Director, Department of Environment, Climate Change and Health, Dr Maria Neira, stated, “Evidence shows that overexposure to UV is the major cause of skin cancer. So it’s vital for people to know when and how to protect themselves.

‘‘We encourage everyone to use the application to protect themselves and their children, and to make this a daily habit.”

Also, the Director of the ILO’s Governance and Tripartism Department, Vera Paquete-Perdigão appraised the app as a ‘‘useful tool to assist companies and workers in identifying hazardous work and planning safety and health measures.”

The SunSmart Global UV app is currently available in Chinese, English, French, German, Russian, Dutch, and Spanish and is available free of charge at both the Apple App and Google Play stores.

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